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Eastside girls soccer ties with Ola to open 2023 season
Leal goal
Sophia Leal cuts thru Ola defenders and fires to put Eastside up 4-3 - photo by Mike Harrison | The Covington News

MCDONOUGH, Ga. — The Eastside Lady Eagles tied their regular season opener at Ola High School on Jan. 31, 4-4. 

The Lady Eagles opened the scoring on a goal by junior Sara Roberts in the 17th minute of play to

put Eastside up 1-0 — it was Roberts' first varsity goal. Ola knotted the match at 1-1 on a goal 

off a corner kick with 18:10 on the game clock. Senior Lauren Davis took a pass and used her speed 

to streak down the left sideline before cutting in and netting a shot to put the Lady Eagles 

back up 2-1 with 14:22 left in the first half. 

Then, with just less than a minute left until halftime, the Lady Mustangs stole the ball deep 

in Eastside territory, played it around Eastside's keeper and fired it into the Lady Eagles goal

to tie the match at 2-2 at the break. 

After Ola had taken its only lead of the match off a corner kick with 22:39 left to play,

junior Sophia Leal scored both of Eastside's second half goals. 

Her first goal tied the game at 3-3 on a 35-yard free kick with 19 minutes left to play. Leal's second goal came after she dribbled her way through five Lady Mustang defenders before firing a shot just out

of the goalkeeper's reach that put the Lady Eagles ahead 4-3 with only 9:56 left on the 

game clock. 

As they did in the first half, the Lady Mustangs scored a goal in the final minute 

of play in the second half, this time on a long free kick that bounced over the charging Eastside 

goalkeeper's head and into the net to make the final score 4-4.

All throughout the match, both teams demonstrated physical play. That was something even head coach Joel Singleton noted. 

"It was very physical but I did not feel like it was any different from what we have seen in the past,” Singleton said. 

Jan. 31’s match was a crazy one before the match even kicked off. First, the game was relocated at the last minute from Eastside’s field to Ola, due to the weather. Then, as a result of that relocation, referees were over 30 minutes late arriving. 

With all of those factors, Singleton was proud of his team for persevering. 

“Our second half distribution was better than the first half,” Singleton said. “We are still learning 

each other on the field and working to build our confidence. With time in our non-region games 

we hope to get a lot of things fixed."